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HOUSTON The Houston Astros have promoted top pitching prospect and 2013 first overall pick Mark Appel to Class AA Corpus Christi.

The right hander was in Houston on Sunday to throw a bullpen session with Astros pitching coach Brent Strom at Minute Maid Park before joining the Hooks.

Appel has had a rough first season in the Astros minor league system. He is 2-5 with a 9.74 ERA over 12 starts and 44 1/3 innings for Lancaster.

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